Label: Sub Pop Release date: 27/07/10 Link: Myspace Buy/MP3: Amazon / MP3 Garage rock has enjoyed a massive revival lately, from lo-fi movements recorded in the garage such as Wavves and Best Coast to the noise pop girl groups of Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls etc to some of the more themed music such as Crystal Stilts and Male Bonding. It’s because of this revival that we are more able to understand debut – it’s firmly rooted in the original Garage godfathers – i.e. The Monks, The Stooges, Velvet Underground etc – but takes the distinctly 21st century approach to it shared by some of the above bands. We end up with an album that lands itself firmly in the middle of the Garage rock scene, somewhere between Surfer Blood and Free Energy, an American album that you know is on Sub Pop without having to look at the back cover. It starts to wear thin once you get halfway through and start to realise that it goes through the same formula in each song – 60s style chords sped up, whiney American vocals, guitar solo, drummer mucking about, hitting everything as hard as he can. There is nothing wrong with this per se – many bands have successfully used these cornerstones of rock – but because each track is within 10bpm, all of them having the pretty little bass line, the same guitar sound, the same whiney voice, it all runs into itself. Technically, the guitar playing is good, the bass playing is good, the drumming is good. It’s got all the hallmarks of a great garage rock band, and the riffs aren’t half bad sometimes – the twanging riff in ‘Demon’ is fantastic for example. I think the problem here is that they are too hooked up on recreating the 60s sound with a modern perspective, as is the custom of modern garage bands. This rarely works for them though, because as far as I can hear, they know half a dozen 60s songs and mash them up together and create an image of the 60s that is in fact nothing like the 60s and then take the same sound and apply it to every song. An exception is ‘Baby I’ which is a fantastic song and captures the 60’s sound as well as any of the current bands, and is easily the best song on the album. The album sounds like it’s trying to take Lovvers and force them through better production values and make them make straight up pop songs. It doesn’t work. This album has nothing wrong with it, it’s well produced and made, it’s well played and full of stuff that will make a lot of people happy, and undoubtedly a lot of people will like it (I’m guessing this will go through Pitchfork well), but to me it sounds like an attempt to make the same song after it’s been passed on through Chinese whispers 11 times. Photobucket